'Queen Bee' Syndrome: Powerful Women Undermine Other Women

Cute name, not so cute behavior. “Queen-bee syndrome,” a term coined in the 1970s to describe women in positions of power who try to keep other women down, is alive and well today, a Wall Street Journal op-ed points out. If you’re a woman who’s ever worked in an office, that likely comes as no surprise. But here’s some evidence for the rest of you: a 2011 survey of working women by the American Management Association found that 95 percent of them believed they had been undermined by another woman at some point in their careers. And a 2008 University of Toronto study found that women with female bosses reported more symptoms of physical and psychological stress than did those working under male superiors. Women in positions of power might be well advised to recall Madeleine Albright’s famous warning: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”